F1 2011 by Codemasters

Vote for the best F1 racing game series

Debates and pollsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

F1 2011 by Codemasters
F1 2011 by Codemasters

When asked to name the best F1 racing game of all time, F1 Fanatics nominated titles spanning 20 years of gaming.

But which was the best of all time?

Take a look at the most popular picks below and vote for your favourite.

Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix series



Formula One Grand Prix (aka World Circuit) (PC, Amiga, Atari)
Grand Prix 2 (PC)
Grand Prix 3 and GP3-2000 (PC)
Grand Prix 4 (PC)

It’s hard to exaggerate how influential Geoff Crammond’s original 1991 Formula One Grand Prix series was on later F1 racing games. And, indeed, F1 game designers, who still refer back to the Grand Prix series as one of the finest example of F1 video games.

It was a somewhat idiosyncratic creation with an unusual physics engine and turn-based multiplayer system. But what was most endearing about the Grand Prix series was its sense of liberty – an aspect which feels refreshing if you fire up GP4 after spending some time in the more restrictive world of modern F1 games.

Here was a game you could treat as you please: as an easy arcade thrash with all the driving assists on, as a tricky simulation taking on a two-hour race at Monaco in the rain, or indulging in the mindless fun of 400mph closing speed crashes that split your car in two.

Surely the greatest sign of its lasting popularity it that people continue to play it and apply lovingly-detailed modifications almost a full decade since the last game was released.

And the intro music for the original game was The Chain. What more could you ask for?

It is just so much fun and so far, the most accurate F1 game I?ve ever played.

The physics seem to be unparalleled and the artificial intelligence actually provided close and exciting racing without being erratic and completely unpredictable (unlike the Codemasters games). With all of the assists off and the AI turned up to the max, it?s nail-biting stuff.

The thing I like about it is that if you make a single mistake and do something as simple as dropping a wheel on the grass, it?s the end of your race. It?s the only F1 game I?ve played where mistakes are correctly punished and the grass has the correct level of adhesion (basically none!). If you?ve not played it, you?re missing out.

Easily the best F1 game ever, in my opinion.

Formula One series – Bizarre Creations



Formula 1 (PlayStation, PC)
Formula 1 97 (aka Formula 1 Championship Edition) (PlayStation, PC)

Bizarre Creations only produced two Formula 1 games but the second of these – Formula 1 97 for the first-generation PlayStation – is surely the epitome of arcade-style console racing games.

Its colourful graphics and convincing impressions of the cars and tracks dazzled gamers. The pick-and-up-play simplicity it offered won it many admirers.

And the addition of commentary from Murray Walker and Martin Brundle – ITV’s F1 commentary duo at the time – cranked up the fun factor to 11.

Sure there have been plenty of F1 games released since with better graphics, physics, more immersive season modes.

But for whatever reason, none of these even come close to the sheer fun of playing Formula 1 97. So much so that it still gets a whirl in my PS3.

Grand Prix Legends


Grand Prix Legends (PC)

The awesome attention to detail in Grand Prix Legends’ depiction of the 1967 Formula 1 season was simply stunning, and more than made up for the fact that the game was excruciatingly difficult.

It was one of the first games to feature the full Nurburgring Nordschleife, and the Green Hell has never looked more fearsome than it has from the cockpit of a Lotus 49.

Grand Prix Legends was not a great commercial success for Papyrus, who had previously made IndyCar racing titles. But it has a hardcore following among racing simulator buffs and fans of historic racing in particular. Almost 15 years after it went on sale, the Grand Prix Legends community is still going strong.

Astonishingly, they have even modelled the 72km Targa Florio sports car track for it. And don’t miss this video of a true Grand Prix legend – Jackie Stewart – watching and talking about the game.

Not only it represents one of the golden eras of Formula 1, but it was so advanced when it was released. The graphics were pretty, the cars were astonishing, the sounds were epic, and the feel of the thing: on a class of its own.

Even nowadays it feels modern, nothing like the games of today. As if no one ever cared to design a simulator that accurate, and one has to remember Grand Prix Legends was released when PlayStation 1 was still the way to go for most gamers.

It?s without a shadow of doubt, the best F1 game I?ve ever played.
Fer no.65

F-1 World Grand Prix



F-1 World Grand Prix (Nintendo 64, PlayStation, Dreamcast, others)
F-1 World Grand Prix 2 (Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, others)

F-1 World Grand Prix, which first appeared on the Nintendo 64, is about as far from Grand Prix Legends as it’s possible to get.

But this short-lived series benefitted from some well thought-out and original ideas and is fondly remembered by many of those who played it first time around.

Among the most popular was the series of challenges that invited you to recreate famous moments from the 1997 season – such as Damon Hill almost winning the Hungarian Grand Prix in his Arrows.

F-1 World Grand Prix was one of my personal favourites. It was a genuine, tough and satisfying sim on a console which didn?t do racers that well.

Formula One series – Psygnosis/Studio 33/SCEE



Formula One 99 (Playstation)
Formula One Arcade (PlayStation)
Formula One 2000 (PlayStation)
Formula One 2001 (PlayStation 2)
Formula One 2002 (PlayStation 2)
Formula One 2003 (PlayStation 2)
Formula One 04 (PlayStation 2)
Formula One 05 (PlayStation 2)
Formula One 06 (PlayStation 2)
Formula One Championship Edition (PlayStation 3)

After the departure of Bizarre Creations, and following an unloved 1998 game produced by Visual Science, the Formula 1 series for PlayStation passed into the hands of Psygnosis, which later became SCE Studio Liverpool. Their series of F1 games endured largely because Sony eventually obtained an exclusive licence – bad news for F1 fans without a PlayStation.

Although they stood accused of churning out games that were little changed beyond annual updates to the cars, drivers and tracks, they did boast some popular features such as unlock-able bonus circuits.

Early PS2 titles were notable for including DVD season reviews that were far better quality than the commercially-available video tapes. There were also versions of some of the games for hand held consoles.

F1 06 on the PS2 is in my opinion pretty underrated?? it has pretty good gameplay and a very clinical feel to it, which I always appreciate.

EA Sports F1 games



F1 2000 (Playstation, PC)
F1 Championship Season 2000 (PlayStation 2, PC, others)
F1 2001 (Playstation 2, Xbox, PC)
F1 2002 (Playstation 2, Xbox, Gamecube, PC, others)
F1 Challenge ?99-?02 (aka F1 Career Challenge) (Playstation 2, Xbox, Gamecube, PC, others)

EA Sports’ series of F1 games is best remembered for its final instalment, which spanned four seasons from 1999 to 2002.

This proved a major hit with game modifiers, and has proved a popular platform for expansion. Unofficial packs have been produced for dozens of different seasons.

I enjoyed [F1 Challenge ?99-?02]: the graphics were quite realistic and the features were many.

You could drive the car in the pit lane; you could jump the start; you could lose a wheel and continue; you had all the sessions of a Grand Prix, a grid walk-through, mechanical failures, aggressive AIs (if you had a certain difficulty level ?ǣ admittedly, when you were alongside, they dived out of your way), AIs crashing, tyres wore out, fuel decreased, your speed increased as your fuel reduced and your traction decreased as your tyres wore out.



rFactor (PC)

rFactor was among the first of the modern generation of racing games where much of the content is community-created.

There is plenty in the way of modern cars and tracks but one pack created by users which stands out is the superb 1979 season.

Being free of commercial restrictions, you can do pretty much as you please with it. So if you want to drive a 1979 Ligier JS11 on a combination of the modern Monza F1 track plus the old oval – you can (see video).

With rFactor you can pretty much race any season of F1 you can think of and has great physics to match with great sounds and fairly good graphics as well

Codemasters’ F1 2010 and F1 2011



F1 2010 (Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC)
F1 2011 (Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC, others)

F1 2011, the latest F1 game from Codemasters, brings the official series bang up-to-date with modern features such as DRS, KERS and even the appearance of the safety car.

Taking advantage of the capabilities of today’s hardware and exploiting the benefits of the FOM licence including access data supplied by the teams, virtual F1 has never looked better than in the latest title.

It’s hugely popular among F1 gamers online – that much is clear from the number of threads given over to it in the forum. The latest edition permits up to 16 people to race simultaneously.

F1 2010 and F1 2011 are the games I?ve enjoyed the most. They are the games which I?ve been the most engaging for me.

The thrill of taking tenths of your previous laps (yes, I?m sad) was just great and something that wasn?t as enjoyable in past F1 games. The Collantine Cup has also vastly increased my interest in the game.

I?d say F1 2011 is the best I?ve played simply because it has a bit more than F1 2010. However there are still many small problems which stop the game from being perfect.

Vote for the best F1 racing game series ever

Which of these is your favourite F1 game or Formula 1 series? Cast your vote below and explain your choice and tell us which of them you’ve played in the comments.

Which is the best F1 racing game / game series?

  • Geoff Crammond?s Grand Prix series (25%)
  • Formula One series ?ǣ Bizarre Creations (5%)
  • Grand Prix Legends (6%)
  • F-1 World Grand Prix (3%)
  • Formula One series ?ǣ Psygnosis/SCEE (6%)
  • EA Sports F1 games (8%)
  • rFactor (9%)
  • Codemasters? F1 2010 and F1 2011 (38%)

Total Voters: 508

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“But what about…?”

Where’s iRacing? What about Grand Prix Manager 2? How could you forget Super Monaco GP?

If your favourite F1 game is not listed above either it didn’t get nominated or it wasn’t popular enough.

Debates and polls

Browse all debates and polls

190 comments on “Vote for the best F1 racing game series”

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  1. Grand Prix 2 still has mods – http://grandprix2.de/
    I loved the first PSX F1 with Murray however Grand Prix is something like a time machine.

  2. I think F12011 has an unfair advantage of being the most modern. I still enjoy drving the Ferarri F12010 on Gran Turismo 5. That is my game of choice these days period. I need to fork over the 60$ for F1 2011. I wish it had retro cars and tracks on there how cool would that be?

    1. Nothing unfair about that.

      Every other racing game except for RFactor is outdated. And while RFactor is certainly a better sim, the F1 experience of 2010 makes it a much better F1 racing game (at least to me).

  3. Definitely F1 World Grand Prix. Countless hours did I sit there and simulate full races on that game. With the AI as hard as they could be, driving a Prost with my racing wheel around the rainy Spa, it was brilliant.
    Plus I was a defiant N64 guy rather than PS1 or PS2, and it wasby far the best F1 game on N64.

  4. i think codemasters’ f1 2010 and 2011 are absolutely dreadful and will not be purchasing any of their products again.

    1. I kind of a agree with you it is so frustrating a game that is just unrealisticly fast and easy.

  5. I absolutely love all of the F1 games I’ve played but I’ll have to exclude GP4 of my favourite list. Why as a young kid waiting all year for his present receiving a game unplayable without a steering wheel is pretty sad, still I played it probably more than I should had.

  6. rFactor by far, unfortunately the learning curve, and just getting the game and a good mod up and running is more difficult than more mainstream games, so it will never perform as well in polls, but it’s far superior to any of the other games listed as far as level of competition and realism in my opinion.

  7. There was one game on the Sega Mega CD (Sega CD in the US) called F1 Heavenly Symphony (I don’t know if this is the sega saturn game, however which was done by the same creators of the Mega CD game). The Mega CD game leet you play a season in formula 1, starting with a test session to catch the eye of teams, then you would do a full season vs the real F1 world. I loved that game. It had different weather conditions, interesting phisics (but with false 3D similar to Super Nintendo’s “mode 7”). It actually was released right after Ayrton Senna’s death if I remember correctly, so they had him “removed” with a character with a red helmet, but there was a scenario mode where you could relive his 1993 Brazil victory, for example. It was simply brilliant with an excellent soundtrack.

    The Sega Saturn game was also fantastic, a completely different approach with only 4 or 5 tracks, but each one with live Japanese commentary and a “live broadcast” TV while you raced. The sounds of the cars were amazing as well as the cockpit, and it was in 3D, running very smooth for a Sega Saturn game. It is probably the game that created the best F1 atmosphere I’ve ever played. I bought the Saturn wheel for this one! (And loved hearing “Mihaeru Schumaka, Damone Hiru passta!” If you can download both these games in emulators, do it. The graphics might be outdated, but the atmosphere, soundtrack and F1 passion are there and much better represented than the recent games.

    I voted Geoff Crammond’s because it was the best in the list. The only PC game I played, to be exact, which would take me away from the consoles. Over here in the East PC gaming never really catched on until recently, and consoles were the go to for entertainment. Loved it for exactly what Keith described in the article. I could do it seriously when I wanted, but i could also put my car indestructible, in Hockenheim, and crash into the pile of cars at the first chicane taking half the field out of the race, and watching the replay, seeing those little helmets moving without any expression was funny for me for whatever reason!

    As for the recent F1 games, I have to admit I’m very disappointed with them. A Formula one racing game nowadays HAS to run at 60 FPS. F1 2011 actually was a step BACKWARDS from 2010 with poorer frame rates… Also I think the game just doesn’t capture enough the F1 atmosphere- the career mode doesn’t bring the “adrenaline” and the competitiveness of the F1 world. You know one game that did create atmosphere in a career mode? Mega Drive’s version of Super Monaco GP. You started in a poor team and if you aimed at the “faux Mclaren”, a rival would appear and make you fired. To change teams, one had to beat a rival in 3 races… Loved it. Every single team had a “personality”. This I hope can be translated in future games, not plain vanilla racing. F1 is more than technical driving- its passion, its “human”!

    1. @Sergio-Perez

      Also I think the game just doesn’t capture enough the F1 atmosphere- the career mode doesn’t bring the “adrenaline” and the competitiveness of the F1 world.

      I completely agree. I think, despite its awful handling, F1 Championship Edition nailed the career aspect. I remember being absolutely on edge as I tried to score points on occasions. The fact there was no option to restart the race probably added to the tension. It was such a brilliant feeling when you won a race.

  8. I’m voting with the heart, not the head. I spent hours playing F1GP, GP2, GP3, not so much on GP4, but Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix series, although not technically the best looking game, was by far the best at its time. I loved the fact that you could modify the graphics and even make your own tracks which I dabbled in…

    I currently own F1 2011 on XBox, and it just seems like any other racing game. The graphics are great, but the gameplay just doesn’t offer anything special in my view.

  9. Here are a link to the Mega CD and Sega Saturn F1 games. Didn’t know they released an english version of the Mega CD game!


    Play the one bellow starting at 3:00 minutes:



    Unfortunately the Sega Saturn video is from the monaco track, which was the poorer of the ones in the game…

  10. Gotta be Codemasters 2010 & 2011 efforts for me. It infuriates me as much as it excites me which is always something I’ve enjoyed about video games.

    Honourable mention to F1 97. I was so, so terrible at that game.

  11. Grand Prix Legends is by far the best sim from a driving point of view. Very hard but extremely rewarding. Places like the old Nurgburgring, Rouen, Clermont Ferrand, The old full length Spa Francorchamps, just incredible circuits to drive on let alone race.

    If this was ported to the XBOX 360 I’d be in heaven. This is a game you simply HAVE to try. The bona fide best F1 game by a country mile.

    1. I especially like that the designers had the sense not to use Bugatti Au Mans, where the 1967 French Grand Prix actually took place, and substituted it for Rouen. Perfect example of getting “poetic licence” exactly right.

    2. Yep, GPL is tops. Trying to take the Masta kink flat (the key to a really fast lap at the old Spa) in a car that drifts and slides around, exceeded all the other race games I’ve played.

      The real gem within the game is the fact that the designers modelled the physics for the various chassis so they actually has different handling/speed characteristics. For example, the Lotus was an edgy rocketship, while the Brabham had more neutral in handling. I may be wrong, but the modern games use one physics model for all of the cars represented?

  12. I played F1 challenge 99-02 for many years and I loved it, I got a mod for almost every season so I could play modern seasons on my rubbish computer. However, on this poll, Geoff Crammonds series seems to be immensely popular compared to EA series. I have never played any of the Grand Prix games, what made them better than the EA ones?

    1. @duncanmonza The EA games were arcade-y and for everyone, really. The Grand Prix games were full-on simulations with endless options to tweak every aspect of the car, and the physics engine is amazingly realistic. The EA games are fun, but the Grand Prix series is on another level. You really should get yourself a copy – but be warned – you’ll need a wheel to get the full experience. Using the keyboard takes away all of the fun.

  13. Was thinking, another poll interesting to see would be ‘Have you played these games’ because I believe Codies series is only winning because that’s a lot of peoples only experience of an F1 game.

  14. I wonder if there’s much of a correlation between everyone’s favourite F1 games and the year in which they first became interested in the sport?

    1. @supernicebob More than likely! I only really got into F1 at the beginning of 2009 so naturally Codemasters got my vote.

  15. Just 23 votes for GPL? What’s wrong with people?

  16. I’d also like to make an addition. You say Codemaster’s F1 games are F1 ’10 and ’11, but everyone forgets about F1 ’09..

    Now, it might have only been on the Wii/PSP, not had online capabilities, and not had much else in terms of what F1 ’05 had on the PS2, but I still have it, and thoroughly enjoy racing on it from time to time (despite having now got F1 2011 on the PC), and it is still a Codemasters game, it was their first F1 game in the series, and it doesn’t seem to get a single mention anywhere..

  17. It`s got to be Geoff
    21st February 2012, 17:50

    After reading the posts I notice a few saying `never played GP by Geoff, whats the deal`, well in a nut shell GP series is a sim, the rest are games.
    After dusting off GP3 an browsing the 174 page booklet that comes with it, with everything from what front/rear brake balance does to looking at data logged laps with respect to throttle/wheel spin/ride height/suspension travel, this sim is just awsome in its depth. I remember doing quali laps around silverstone an racing into the pits to check the cross secitional temperatures of the tires to fine tune the camber of the wheels.
    But if the GP series was good then Grand Prix Legends was, well a Legend. It is, an will probably be the most concentrating a racing game/sim :-) you will ever play, once you get past the `dont change gear while throttling` or it will drop a bag of spanners on the track ( the car had a clutch but pedals dont ) you will find a car the almost steers on will power, I have never known a sim to portray the feeling of driving like it. Back to the modern era, have played most of the selection nominated but you always get that`Its good but…..` flashback to beating Mansells lap record at Mexico on keyboard on GP1, many many hours but I remember like yesterday………( Mansell 1:16.788 )

  18. It`s got to be Geoff
    21st February 2012, 18:11

    Sorry to double post, but if GPL an GP are combined it will probably beat the bug fest from codemasters ;]

  19. i voted geoff crammond series. the number of days spent playing gp2 tells me how playable it was.

    i really enjoy r-factor but mainly use it with GT / LM cars.
    out of the box, it isn’t an F1 game due to the lack of cars and tracks included. you need the various community mods to get it up to speed, so for that very reason it comes 2nd to geoff c. that said, the depth added to r-factor by the mods allows you to ‘drive’ a vast array of circuits, including the historical variations, and a huge variety of f1 cars past to present (the 80’s turbo ones have to be tried….monsters!), so if i hadn’t started with GP2, then r-factor (modded) would be my #1

  20. As Beyonce would say:

    “All the simulators, All the simulators wo oh oh”

    Or am I getting my wires crossed?

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